Out Stealing Horses by Per PettersonOut Stealing Horses by Per Petterson

Out Stealing Horses

byPer Petterson

Paperback | July 13, 2007

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Winner of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

In 1948, when he is fifteen, Trond spends a summer in the country with his father. The events — the accidental death of a child, his best friend’s feelings of guilt and eventual disappearance, his father’s decision to leave the family for another woman — will change his life forever. An early morning adventure out stealing horses leaves Trond bruised and puzzled by his friend Jon’s sudden breakdown. The tragedy that lies behind this scene becomes the catalyst for the two boys’ families to gradually fall apart.

As a 67-year-old man, and following the death of his wife, Trond has moved to an isolated part of Norway to live in solitude. But a chance encounter with a character from the fateful summer of 1948 brings the painful memories of that year flooding back, and will leave Trond even more convinced of his decision to end his days alone.
Per Petterson, defeated eight finalists, including Julian Barnes, J.M. Coetzee, Salman Rushdie and Cormac McCarthy to win the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for Out Stealing Horses.
Per Petterson was born in 1952 and was a librarian and a bookseller before he published his first work, a volume of short stories, in 1987. Since then he has written three novels which have established his reputation as one of Norway’s best fiction writers. To Siberia and In the Wake are published by Harvill in English translation.
Title:Out Stealing HorsesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 7.79 × 5.08 × 0.69 inPublished:July 13, 2007Publisher:Random House UKLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0099506130

ISBN - 13:9780099506133

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Quiet and thoughtful I enjoyed this novel's spare prose and pace. While I liked the ending, I would have enjoyed more answers.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Simple a journey in memory This was an interesting journey in the life of a character. The author displays the different stages of the character's life in a complex but simple way.
Date published: 2014-06-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful prose but Lacking Feelings A young boy, Trond spends time with his father in the Norwegian woods just after the war. One morning he goes 'out stealing horses' with his friend, Jon. Jon completely breaks down after causing a tragic accident in his family and disappears. Trond's father decides to cut down some of his forest for cash and then he leaves his family. Trond, as an old man, comes to a cabin in the wilderness to reflect on that summer and finds out his neighbour is Jon's brother. This triggers a lot of memories about his father and Jon's family. Petterson writes a philosophical book which starts with one tragedy and slowly unravels thread by thread other painful stories and feelings. Petterson paints a vivid picture of the beautiful Norwegian woods but stops short when writing about people's feelings
Date published: 2010-01-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from beautifully written, slow moving... Out Stealing Horses has been on my tbr list for ages, so I was happy when it was chosen as the December read for my book club. I was also surprised because the woman who chose generally dislikes translations and this novel was translated from the original Norwegian. Anyway, I settled in and finished the book (one of the few in the group who actually did) and even after discussing it – I am not sure how I feel about the book. The story concerns 67 year old Trond Sander who is living in isolation after the death of his second wife. The novel moves seamlessly between Trond’s every day concerns (getting his driveway plowed and stacking wood) and his memories of his youth. The summer he was 15 he and his father had left Trond’s mother and sister in Oslo and come to a cottage quike like the one Trond is currently inhabiting. It was there that Trond’s world was knocked off-kilter – not only by a tragedy that occurred in his friend Jon’s family, but also by events in his own life. It took my a while to settle into this book. It’s a quiet novel and while the writing is quite powerful (particularly Pettersen’s descriptions of the natural world), I found the long sentences strangely difficult…too many commas or something. Still, I eventually stopped wanting to add full stops and gave myself over to Trond’s remarkable childhood recollections. I’m not sure this book will appeal to everyone and so it’s not one that I can whole-heartedly recommend. That said – I do think it achieves something quite remarkable. As Trond’s story unfolds we learn a universal truth – sometimes there are no satisfactory explanations for life’s mysteries.
Date published: 2009-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Buy it If you have got this far investigating this book, buy it. Petterson has written a wonderful, finely-crafted study of loss in all its forms. It is definitely not a cheery book, but neither is it a depressing one. He explores loss from the perspective of family members who disappoint us or friends whose relation to us is effected by other events. Trond, his central character, has to cope with this and he does -- not in the sense of retreating but of moving forward. This is a marvelous book, every bit as good as its reviews. Buy it.
Date published: 2008-05-18

Editorial Reviews

“This stunning novel will tell you more about the Norwegian countryside and psyche than the most enthusiastically well-informed guidebook.”–Sunday Telegraph “[Petterson] captures the essence of a man’s vast existence with a clean-lined freshness that hits you like a burst of winter air – surprising and breathtaking.”–Daily Express“. . . a true gem, compact yet radiant.”–Independent on Sunday“. . . a minor masterpiece of death and delusion.”–The Guardian